Friday, January 18, 2008

On "Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion"

"In these writings, Habermas presents himself as a new Kant (however much he might keep his distance from him in relation to specific issues) – a Kant of communicative reason and of the post-Darwin era. It is no coincidence that the study of Kant’s philosophy of religion is the most brilliant in the volume. Habermas also adopts the stance towards religion characteristic of the moralist Kant in its multiple manifestations. The more technical sections of the volume – examinations of thinkers associated with Habermas in various ways such as Adorno, Apel, McCarthy and Menke – demonstrate the enormous aspirations of this philosophy. And the closing chapter, in which Habermas joins in the debates on reform of the UN, is consciously reminiscent of Kant’s reflections on perpetual peace, presented as a draft agreement. Habermas no longer expounds his erstwhile faith in the motivating force of morality as such; and he has also overcome his exclusive concentration on the law, which was an attempt to make up for this lack. But as with Kant, the fascination exerted by religion remains tightly fenced in by morality. The call for a productive dialogue between believers and non-believers has, however, rarely been made with such eloquence and concision."

full here

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